Back in December, Westfield unveiled plans to merge its Australian businesses under the Scentre brand while it took the Westfield name for its international operations.
It’s a deal that has the support of many institutional investors but investors in the Westfield retail trust have more than the 25% of votes so far cast – enough to scupper the deal – according to The Australian this morning.
As a result of the speculation, shares in Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) fell 1.22% yesterday.
The key seems to be the increase in gearing (debt the company is carrying) that will happen at WRT as a result of the merger of the local operations.
The Australian reports that:
UniSuper, the largest shareholder in WRT, has long been opposed to the terms of the deal that will result in the gearing of the locally focused entity Scentre at 37.2 per cent, far exceeding the gearing of WRT at 25.2 per cent.
Separately, the AFR says that company executives have been hitting the phones to try to convince investors on the deals merits before the vote today in Sydney.
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